Weekend Report - 10th/11th June 2017

Molloy Strikes Gold and Gibson Breaks Holmes Record

Sean Molloy, from Tonbridge Athletic Club won his first major senior 800 metres title on Sunday, when he won the South of England championship, at Crystal Palace. He progressed through the heats and semi final on Saturday, with times of 1.54.18 and 1.54.00, to qualify for the final. Sunday’s race proved a tactical affair, in which Molloy found himself boxed in for much of the race. He had to close down the eventual runner-up, Ian Crowe-Wright, of Brighton, overtaking him about thirty metres from the line.

The second gold medal for Tonbridge came in the under 20 men’s Shot Putt, where Alfie Scopes won with a personal best of 14.82 metres. Scopes also captured the silver medal in the Discus with 45.89 metres.

Two medals were won by senior female distance runners, with Ashley Gibson taking bronze over 1500 metres and Nicole Taylor silver in the 3000 metres. Gibson was closing the leaders down fast at the finish and ran 4.25.96, less than two tenths of a second away from the winner. However, her time broke Kelly Holmes, Tonbridge AC club record, which was set in 1987. Kelly Holmes had moved to another club, when at the peak of her career, a few years later.

In the 3000 metres Nicole Taylor led until the bell lap, when overtaken by Chloe Tighe, of Herne Hill Harriers. Taylor ran 9.37.78, eight seconds down on the winner.

Two more bronze medals were picked up, at the championships, by Dan Seagrove and Katie Goodge. Seagrove was just outside his personal best time with 1.56.87, in the under 20 men’s 800 metres final and Goodge made her 3000 metres debut, in the under 15 girls’ championship, running 10.52.79.

Joanne Ware set an outdoor personal best of 5.61 metres, in the Long Jump, to finish fourth and was just three centimetres away from the silver and bronze medalists, in an extremely tight competition.

A few days earlier George Duggan set a personal best over 1500 metres of 3.46.62, at the Loughborough open meeting. His time was inside the qualifying time for the British Championships, in July, where he hopes to join a number of other Club athletes.

Kent Schools Championships

A good number of the younger members of the club won Kent Schools Championship titles, on Saturday, at Ashford. In the Inter age group, for school years 10 and 11 there were three wins, which came from Simon Coppard (800m in 1.59.95), David Fullbrook (Javelin 46.58m) and Kirsty-Anne Ebbage (Hammer 45.55m). Ebbage’s throw broke the Tonbridge club under 17 women’s record.

There were five Junior age group winners, from school years 8 and 9. These were Fraser Gordon (1500m, 4.19.61), Rebekah O’Brien (800m 2.22.48 and High Jump 1.55m), Catherine Davies (Pole Vault 2.60m) and Maisie Rixon (Shot Putt 10.59m).

In the youngest age group, for year 7 students, Freddie Nicholson won the boys’ High Jump with 1.40m, Caitlin Ebbage the Shot putt with 8.66m and Lucinda White the Javelin with 33.69m.

Distance Events

On the roads over the weekend, Henry Pearce made his debut at the half marathon, at Market Harborough, coming away with a time of 71.52 minutes and winning by more than ten minutes.

On Sunday in the Staplehurst 10km race, Dan Bradley led the Tonbridge squad home, with a third placed finish in 33.58.